Best Practices in Fundraising: Gaining insight from your data

  • Emma Schwartz
  • February 11, 2016
Best Practices in Fundraising: Gaining i

Today, the abundance of data at non-profits’ fingertips makes it possible to be more effective in practice than ever before. Fully grasping and understanding this data can mean the difference between programs and campaigns that flourish or flop.

In a recent Solutions Center webinar, Julie Whipple, Qlik’s Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, shared how non-profits can take advantage of the Qlik software grant program to gain insights from their data.

Founded in 1993 in Sweden, Qlik is a global leader in visual analytics. Roughly 37,000 customers rely on Qlik solutions to capture and extract meaning out of information from a variety of sources, exploring the hidden relationships across data sets that lead to insights that ignite good ideas.

The software grant program is a key component of Qlik’s innovative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program – Change our World – which aspires to “push the boundaries governing what people think business is capable of.” The program serves over 220 different charities with discounted or free analytics software, training and support. NGOs like Mercy Ships, Smile Train, UNICEF and Direct Relief rely on Qlik to simplify and make sense of complex information, gain visibility into their data and accelerate outcomes using the following portfolio of tools and capabilities:

  • Self-service data visualization, allowing for decentralized analysis and exploration for individuals and groups
  • Guided analytics, centrally deployed to multiple knowledge workers
  • Embedded analytics in web and enterprise applications
  • Custom analytics applications, built for internal and external use
  • Reporting and collaboration, enabling pixel-perfect report distribution across the enterprise

Qlik extracts, transforms and loads data from multiple sources, taking a streamlined approach to delivering visualizations quickly, easily and efficiently. Once data has been pulled into the Qlik environment, users build visualization dashboards (or applications) displaying flexible, drillable and extensable metrics so that those with access can easily navigate to what’s important to them.

“Regardless of where your users are, regardless of where your data sits, Qlik is the piece that sits in the middle – bringing together data from various sources, creating a model of that data, and then providing you with different ways to get that information out to the people that need it,” said Julie.

Most non-profits leverage the platform to analyze fundraising data – e.g. donor attrition rates, campaign ROI, and various donor segments – and drive more effective campaign and event planning. The platform not only helps analyze fundraising data and donor statistics, but can also be leveraged to understand financials and analyze impact made on the ground.

Julie emphasized that “there’s no better way to reach out to your donors and ask that they continue to support your organization than by showing them the impact their dollars are having on the ground.”

Intimidated by the looming learning curve? Qlik offers classroom training, online training and a continuing e-series to help clients optimize the value of the platform tools. There are also a multitude of online resources available for reference, such as, and the Qlik team is open to working with clients to design plans to meet specific needs.

Michael Benhaim, Business Intelligence Data Architect at Harvard University, shared high level examples of how the university has been using Qlik applications to segment donors and construct target lists to strengthen activities and campaigns.

“Right now, we’re in a big push to move all of our business intelligence to Qlik from all the other environments we’re using,” he shared.

While the Qlik platform typically sits on an onsite server, Michael pointed out cloud hosting as a viable alternative that works very well for their team.

For a complete recap on the Qlik platform, watch Julie and Michael’s dashboard demos in the webinar recording.

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